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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. Milton C. Harbison, a practicing physician of Big River Township, is the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bowles) Harbison, and was born near Manchester in St. Louis County, in 1846. The father was born in Kentucky about 1810, and when a small boy was brought by his father, Archibald Harbison, to St. Louis County, where he was married about 1831. He was a man of very limited education, was a farmer, and in 1849 crossed the plains to California, where he soon after died of cholera. His father was also a native of Kentucky, and his mother was born in Dublin, Ireland. Milton’s mother was born near St. Louis, about 1817, and died April, 1871. She had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since fifteen years of age, and her husband was also a member of the same church. Her people were formerly from Virginia. In 1852 she married William Price, who died about 1884. The Doctor was reared on the farm, receiving a country school education, and at the age of twenty began the study of physics with Dr. E. B. Bowles, a cousin. Here he remained for one year after which he spent some months with Dr. E. J. Thurman, of Fenton, and in 1868 entered St. Louis Medical College. He began practicing in Big River Township, where he has met with well-deserved success, and is now one of the foremost physicians of Jefferson County. He has now a fine farm of 160 acres, situated one mile northwest of Morse’s Mill. He left college in poor health and $500 in debt; the former was overcome by rustic living, and the latter by close application to his profession. December, 1869, he married Miss Amanda, daughter of Madison and Nancy Graham, natives of Jefferson County, where they spent their entire lives. The father died in 1882 and the mother is still living. To the Doctor and wife were born nine children, viz.: Mary, Charley, Delos, Frederick, Gertrude, Clyde, Edwina, Kate and May. The Doctor is an earnest worker for the cause of education, and was instrumental in establishing a good school in the neighborhood. In politics he has been a life-long and consistent Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Seymour, in 1868. He is a member in good standing in the Masonic lodge, and is also a member of the A. O. U. W. Mrs. Harbison has been a member of the Baptist Church since her fifteenth year.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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